Home to one of the region’s most important stupas, the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is steeped in history and has a rich heritage. This sacred site is definitely worth visiting when in southern Sri Lanka.
This attraction can be found in Tissamaharama, a town in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota District near Weerawila. If you plan a stay at Tissamaharama hotels in the area such as Kithala Resort, you can easily access the site within a 15 minute drive.
The site where Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara can be found is believed to be one of the places that Lord Buddha consecrated; it is said that he along with 500 arhats (Buddhist monks) spent time here in meditation during Lord Buddha’s third visit to Sri Lanka.
Rise to Prominence
From the third to the eleventh century BC, the monastery at Tissamaharama became a major centre for Buddhist education. The stupa was built at this site in the second century BC which some historians believe to have taken place under the patronage of King Kavan Tissa.
What to See
The stupa at the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara is the largest of its kind in the southern region; it spans an impressive 156 feet in height and has a circumference of 550 feet. Apart from the stupa, you will also be able to see an ancient statue of Lord Buddha carved in rock, a small bell tower and what is known as a “Chatra Gala”, which features stone carvings.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.